Baseball sweeps William Penn

Story by Jenna Black, Photo Editor

The Baker baseball team was able to hold off William Penn University to win 5-4 and 7-1 on Tuesday, April 12, at Sauder Field. Two big first innings helped the Wildcats seal the doubleheader wins and improve to a 9-11 record within the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

In game one, the Wildcats scored four of their runs in the first inning alone. A group of seniors led the way as Charlie Coleman, Gabe Greenbaum, Austin Bass and Travis Johnson each had a single.

“I don’t know if we have A.D.D, but we tend to lock in early in the game and then space out in the middle of the game,” head coach Ryan Goodwin jokingly said.

Bass leads the ‘Cats with a batting average of .387, which puts him at 10th in the Heart’s batting average rankings.

Coleman was able to score when a throw got past William Penn’s first baseman. Coleman leads the team in stolen bases with a total of 14.

“I can’t second guess myself,” Coleman said. “Even if I know I’m gonna get toasted, I’ve got to get my jump at the right time.”

William Penn began to chip away at Baker’s 5-2 lead by scoring two runs in the fifth inning to make it 5-4. Goodwin turned to freshman Kekai Rivera-Albeso to take over for junior Lake Johnson on the pitcher’s mound in the sixth inning.

“He [Rivera-Albeso] was a good matchup for their team,” said Goodwin. “They like to hit a lot of fast balls and he throws a lot of breaking balls.”

Rivera-Albeso started the seventh inning by hitting a batter and walking another to put two runners on base.

“I was pretty nervous because that was the tying run,” Rivera-Albeso said, referring to the hit batter. Rivera-Albeso collected himself and ultimately gave up no runs and closed out the game for a 5-4 win.

The Wildcats once again got out to a quick lead in game two. Senior Ethan Jacks singled to center and overall went 3 for 4. Johnson tripled to center, which scored Greenbaum and Jacks to collect two Baker runs in the first. The Wildcats started another scoring frenzy in the fourth inning and collected three runs to lead 5-0. Senior Cort Brennan contributed with a single and junior Wes Summers doubled to left

The ‘Cats racked up one run each in the seventh and eighth innings. Jacks had an RBI double down the leftfield line, and then Coleman hit sophomore Max Taulbee in for the final run.

Sophomore Jack Mayes earned the win and allowed only four hits in his seven innings on the mound. Sophomore Bennett White threw a scoreless eighth and ninth innings to close it out for a 7-1 win.

With only three conference matchups left in the season, Baker sits ninth in the Heart standings out of 12 teams. The Peru State College Bobcats will visit Baldwin City beginning Saturday, April 16, for a two-day series. The first pitch will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday.